Managing cash withdrawals.



I have been a YNAB user for a long time and after a 'break' from budgeting in 2020, I have vowed to manage money better in 2021.

Among my accounts, I have a transaction account and a cash account and have always managed cash withdrawals from my transaction account in the following manner:
1. The payee is the place where the withdrawal took place.

2. I set the category to 'Split (Multiple Categories)...'

3. First split: For payee I select 'To/From: Cash' and enter the withdrawal amount as an outflow.

4. Other splits (added as required): I set the payee to the place visited and enter an amount.


This method has worked well and avoided adding a 'phantom' transaction for the transfer of funds from my savings account to my cash account, however the behaviour appears to have changed recently. Following the above, everything functions as expected, however if there are no other splits to be added, then the splitting is removed entirely.


I could simply set the top level payee to 'To/From: Cash' and set the memo to the place visited, but call it pedantic, I do not think this is elegant at all!


Kind regards,



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  • It appears the behavior changed in March 2020 according to the 'Web Release Notes: March 17, 2020'.

  • Workaround: Add a split, assign it to a category (I used 'Inflow: To Be Budgeted' since it will exist), then assign 0 to the outflow.

  • Silver Rhythm said:
    if there are no other splits to be added, then the splitting is removed entirely.

     Assuming you spent all the cash in one go then does it matter if the transaction is in the savings account or the cash account? The only digital record of the withdrawal is in the savings account anyway so why not put the purchase there?

  • Hi SgtBatten,


    Thank you for your prompt response.


    I would like my savings account to be a reflection on the actual bank account that it is based - I wish to avoid adding cash purchases against the savings account as this inaccurate, especially if the cash is not spent right away since the balances would be incorrect until that cash is spent, then I have to remember to record the spending of that cash against my savings account rather than the cash account. This is a totally confusing scenario.


    If I visit the supermarket and purchase goods AND withdraw cash I can enter the transaction in YNAB where the transfer to my cash account is recorded as a split.


    If I visit the supermarket and ONLY withdraw cash I can no longer enter the transaction in YNAB where the transfer to my cash account is recorded as a split - the split is automatically removed.



    1. Add the transaction as a transfer at the top level - I then lose tracking on where this transaction was conducted, not to mention potentially causing, among other problems,  all subsequent transactions imported against the same payee from being added in YNAB as transfers to my cash account.

    2. In addition to the split for the transfer from my savings account to my cash accounts, add a 'dummy' split with a category of 'Inflow: To Be Budgeted' (since it will always exist as a category), then assign 0 to the outflow.


    Kind Regards,



  • Hey Jason,

    Silver Rhythm said:
    I then lose tracking on where this transaction was conducted,

     I see no value in knowing this which is fine, I accept you may have a reason to track where you withdrew it. Your bank record will always be there to check also if its a security thing.

    You call it a phantom transaction however it does reflect reality if you transfer from savings to cash account. If you are really against it then perhaps start with this action, then hen you have two splits you can change the transaction to be the split method you prefer. 

    I personally just transfer to cash, then spend as required. But i hate cash, so i almost never use it. I've been tapping with my phone for at least 5 years.

    I don't see how else you can do it. 

  • SgtBatten I have been using YNAB for more than 5 years and have always used the method described above, which has also been described in some YNAB guides some years back,  for managing cash withdrawals. If this was something that was never possible, I would accept it is a functional limitation and move on, but the problem is that it was possible and even recommended, and now no longer possible.


    I am disappointed about the change in functionality, but pleased I have found a practical workaround. Hopefully YNAB see this and restore the ability to record transactions with a single split that is a transfer.

      • SgtBatten
      • SgtBatten
      • 2 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Silver Rhythm  totally agree. I guess I was trying to confirm that your current options are more limited than you previously had, not argue your method was never valid. 

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 2 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Silver Rhythm the method described above sounds like the method used for those with a cash category and not a cash account. If you have a cash account, then you would treat it as a transfer because you moved the money from your savings account to your wallet (cash account) which is what a transfer between accounts is.

  • See this for some of the earlier discussion when they removed this functionality. 

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